THE NATURE OF JESUS ON THE EARTH. DIVINE? HUMAN?

Those who reject the truth that Jesus came to Earth with human nature, teach a false doctrine, that beneath the garment of man was an absolutely immortal Divine nature, and make death on the cross impossible. The Bible calls these people Satan’s servants:

  • “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” {2 John 1:7}
  • “…there was no way of escape for the offender. The whole family of Adam must die. I saw the lovely Jesus and beheld an expression of sympathy and sorrow upon His countenance. Soon I saw Him approach the exceeding bright light which enshrouded the Father. Said my accompanying angel, He is in close converse (only) with His Father. The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with His Father. Three times He was shut in by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time He came from the Father, His person could be seen. His countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and doubt, and shone with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express. He then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He told them that He had been pleading with His Father, and had offered to give His life a ransom, to take the sentence of death upon Himself, that through Him man might find pardon;“ {Ellen White: EW, 149.2}
  • When the plan of redemption was laid, it was decided that Christ should not appear in accordance with His Divine character; for He could not then associate with the distressed and the suffering. He must come as a poor man. He could have appeared in accordance with His exalted station in the heavenly courts; but no, He must reach to the very lowest depths of human suffering and poverty, that His voice might be heard by the burdened and disappointed,..“ {Ellen White; ST, 24. June 1897}
  • Christ did not make believe take human nature; He did verily take it. He did in reality possess human nature.“ {Ellen White: RH April 5, 1906, par. 4}
  • “Christ, who knew not the least taint of sin or defilement, took our nature in its deteriorated condition. This was humiliation greater than finite man can comprehend. God was manifest in the flesh.“ {Ellen White 1SM, p. 253}

Why, if the holy Spirit is a third Divine Being, the Father and the Son were the only two beings present in the counsel? Jesus taught us to only accept a “it is written”. Why then do we accept no evidence when it comes to believing that the holy Spirit was there? Another concern with this doctrine is that then Jesus could not die fully on the cross, and it was “only” His human nature that died; later, after only sleeping in the grave, on the third day “He resurrected Himself”! 

Here we see the danger of this doctrine of the Trinity. The rejection of Jesus’ sacrifice is the last step of its development. We can see in the quotes of the Spirit of Prophecy that Jesus did not offer His human life as a ransom, because at that time He had only a Divine Life. He gave His Divine life, which He then promised the Father for the redemption of our sins, because a created being could not pay for that price! The next step in rejecting the truth is to try to declare that the great light that surrounds the Father is the holy Spirit. 

That light is not a being, but a manifestation of the force that emanates from one Being i.e. the source. Why was Jesus not surrounded by the same intensity of light, since Revelation clearly says that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and is sent through Jesus to every place (universe)? If that light were the holy Spirit, it would have to have the same intensity around Jesus, since one being does not change the way it manifests in the same environment. 

A sign of the Father’s greater power is that only He has such an immeasurably strong light around Himself. In one of her visions, when Ellen White was in heaven, Jesus told her that she would die instantly if she were to get near the light that surrounded the Father.  We know that the holy Spirit speaks recognisably and with clear words (as in Acts 8:29) to fallen people as the voice to the conscience. That is why it is simply impossible to claim that it is “implied” that the holy Spirit was involved in the conversation that the Father and the Son had during creation! Through this, we see once again that this teaching is without foundation.

  • For it pleased THE FATHER that in Him (Jesus) should ALL FULNESS (the Father) DWELL; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.“ {Colossians 1:19-20}

Jesus performed all the miracles on Earth with the power of His Father, Who was on Earth personally in Jesus. Jesus did not possess His Divine power on Earth! His Divine power on Earth, which He was not allowed to use for Himself, was only the power of His Father present in Him!

  • As God, Christ could not be tempted any more than He was not tempted from His allegiance in heaven. But as Christ humbled Himself to the nature of man, He could be tempted. He had not taken on Him even the nature of the angels, but humanity, perfectly identical with our own nature, except without the taint of sin. A human body, a human mind, with all the peculiar properties, He was bone, brain, and muscle. A man of our flesh, He was compassed with the weakness of humanity. The circumstances of His life were of that character that He was exposed to all the inconveniences that belong to men, not in wealth, not in ease, but in poverty and want and humiliation. He breathed the very air man must breathe. He trod our earth as man. He had reason, conscience, memory, will, and affections of the human soul which was united with His divine nature (His Personality).” {Ellen White: 16MR 181, 182} {TA 157.1}
  • “Jesus Christ “counted it not a thing to be grasped to be equal with God.” Because divinity alone could be efficacious in the restoration of man from the poisonous bruise of the serpent, God himself, in His only begotten Son, assumed human nature, and IN THE WEAKNESS OF HUMAN NATURE SUSTAINED THE CHARACTER OF GOD, vindicated his holy law in every particular, and accepted the sentence of wrath and death for the sons of men.” {Ellen White: YI, 11. February 1897}

If what the quote says is clear, Jesus assumed a complete human nature while He lived on Earth, and the mention of His Divine character at the last part of the quote, cannot serve as a “proof” of Him not having a human nature. If that were the case, a deeper study would be needed, because the prophet of God is certainly not against herself. The first two sentences show that there is no temptation for the Divine nature. What difference would it make for our salvation if Jesus really had “only a trained divine nature”? None, because He would no have had a way to give in to sin, but we would still. However, we read quite clearly that, Jesus did not take even an angelic nature!  From where, then, comes the idea that Jesus carried a Divine nature when He lived here on Earth? A “human nature” on its own nor a Divine nature on its own without sin changes anything for the sinner!

We must understand that each of us has two human natures: physical and spiritual. Jesus could not be tempted in His Divine physical nature, for it cannot be hungry, has no sense of pain, and possesses absolutely no weakness. Jesus had to renounce His Divine physical nature, His Divine Body, and take upon Himself a fully human physical nature, which was tested in everything as we are. His body was 100% human and 0% Divine. On the other hand, His mind was 100% Divine and 0% human. He was limited by human physics, the physiology of the human brain, but in his character, His mind was 100% pure and Divine. We can interpret the whole quote with a flexible statement about His Divine nature only in the context of all the words. The context is: A human body, a human mind, with all the peculiar properties. The statement that “He had bones, brains and muscles” basically repeats the same thing, only instead of the word “mind” she uses the term “brain”. 

That’s exactly what she meant. His human brain was certainly, like the rest of the body, under the effects of sin and degeneration. However, His mind, spiritual, unrelated to the human physiological aspect, was not human but 100% pure and Divine. Looking at the above quotes, (emphasis on YI, February 11, 1897), we see clearly that Jesus retained His Divine character, not the bodily form of the Divine nature. Thus, the quote below cannot have any other meaning, because God’s prophets do not contradict themselves. Unfortunately, the supporters of the Trinity use the first part of the quote below as proof that Jesus had a literal Divine nature on Earth and thus only a human body. But if we continue to read the same quote, we will see that even we can also get a share in the Divine nature. What is it? Of course, the indwelling of the holy Spirit in us.

The Father was not personally present in Jesus during Jesus’ sojourn on Earth in some mysterious way but only by His Spirit; just as He was present in His apostles and saints by His Spirit. Unlike all others, Jesus never sinned nor deception was found in His mouth, but He led His whole Earthly life by the Spirit of the Father, subordinating His will to the will of the Father. Jesus said that the faithful will perform greater miracles than those performed by the Father through Him. Believing that the Father was personally inexplicably present in Jesus undermines the truth and the fact that Jesus was in a mortal body equal to ours, with all the weaknesses, that he experienced all the temptations we may have, including the risk of eternal loss.

  • Christ could have done nothing during His earthly ministry in saving fallen man if the divine had not been blended with the human. The limited capacity of man cannot define this wonderful mystery, the blending of the two natures, the divine and human. It can never be explained. Man must wonder and be silent. … Man must be a partaker of the divine nature in order to stand in this evil time …Says Christ, “Without Me ye can do nothing.” {Ellen White: Lt 5, 1889.6}

Just as Jesus succeeded in overcoming sin through the Divine power of the Father. So can we, with the Divine power of Jesus, be participants in His Divine nature, and overcome sin by it! That’s how Jesus received heavenly power while He lived on Earth! What God has shown us so that we can imagine this topic is that Eve came through a part of Adam’s ribs. Thus, our level of understanding shows us that the omnipresent God the Father, for Whom there is no beginning, did not create His Son as other Beings, but in a way incomprehensible to us, gave birth to Jesus from Himself, even before other Beings were created. 

Thus, through the invitation to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, God wanted to present to us simply the heavenly aspects of Jesus’ sacrifice and emphasise how much God Himself had to suffer to give us eternal life as a gift. We can see that Jesus has the same Divine nature as the Father. Proponents of the Trinity have no answer as to why Eve originated from Adam’s rib and was not created together with Adam. Their misinterpretation of that description, which defines the direction of the truth that God “subsequently” was not pleased with Adam being alone, would mean to them that God does not possess absolute wisdom and that he only “later recognised His error.” 

This shows us that the last step in defending the Trinity leads to the view that God is not omniscient! But God is omnipotent, and there is no error with Him! We see that the supreme teachers of this false teaching are ready to defend their position at any cost, just like the Pharisees who eventually crucified Jesus. Jesus said that we would recognise them by their fruits. This Biblical example shows us that God the Father also wanted one Person beside Himself, so He gave birth to His Son Jesus, Who, being born of God the Father, is of the same Divine nature as the Father and one with Him.

And analogously, when creating man, God first created Adam, and then he created Eve from Adam’s rib, to possess the same human nature as Adam, and to be in God’s image one with Adam. When we read the Bible under the guidance of the holy Spirit, we wonder for ourselves how dazzling and unfounded the other teaching is, and how clear and enlightening the truth is! God’s nature is absolutely immortal, unlike created angels or humans. Every atom in the cosmos would instantly disintegrate through entropy if God withdrew the gift of His power as the source of life. Jesus, as the only begotten and not created Son, the only other Being in the Universe besides His Father that is with absolute immortality, with the original Divine life, which he received from His Father.

We know that only the Divine Being could die on the cross because only He could take the price of our sins upon Himself. For this reason, God, according to Ellen White’s description, could not accept the offer of any sad angel to take that sacrifice upon himself. But how could Jesus, as an absolutely immortal Divine Being, die for us literally? Since Jesus is truly the only begotten Son of His Father, before the beginning of His sojourn on Earth, He had to leave with the Father His Divine life and nature, which He had already received from the Father at His heavenly birth.

  • “… Christ sacrificed His royal robe and kingly crown, the glory of heaven, and the homage of angels, and laying aside His Divinity, came to earth to labor and suffer with humanity upon Him.“ {Ellen White: Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 21. November 1907}

What does a man consist of? Body and spirit. The body is our material nature. The spirit of life is next to our consciousness, or God-given life force, i.e. pneuma = the breath of life within us, which Ellen White symbolically describes (Selected Messages 1, p. 235) as the “electric” current (Divine Forces) in our body. Our psyche, i.e. a personality with memories, which God holds after our death as a symbolic record in His books, and the Breath of Life returns to God after death. The biblical expression that man became a living spirit means that he has human nature, and that the body and the life force in it are subordinate to the spirit, because they have no thoughts, and without the spirit, they would not be necessary. This spirit of life force and soul are expressed in other places in the Bible as spirit and soul, which does not change the meaning of the description. Through this, we can understand what the famous quote really means, that Jesus took the nature of fallen man and was literally born as a Son, both in heaven and on Earth.

  • Our personal identity is preserved in the resurrection, though not the same particles of matter or material substance as went into the grave. The wondrous works of God are a mystery to man. The spirit, the character of man, is returned to God, there to be preserved. In the resurrection every man will have His own character.” {Ellen White: 6BC, p. 1093.2, 1900}

However, we must not confuse this with the Catholic teaching, that says that Jesus is “constantly” being born again, because, according to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, Jesus was born again as a Son one more time solely when He was born on Earth. Jesus could not send His holy Spirit as His representative until after He went to heaven and He regained His Divine nature and omnipresence. Since the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, and the Son sends him to us as their common holy Spirit, the holy Spirit was only in the Father during Jesus’ sojourn on Earth. Jesus voluntarily renounced all aspects of His Divine nature – His omnipresence, His power over the Universe and omniscience. 

By accepting a fallen human nature with a degenerate brain, Jesus limited His capacities of thinking and remembering so that He could be exposed to the same temptations. Jesus accepted the prepared prophecies from the Old Testament, which were to show Him the depth of His mission. All this would not be possible with the Trinity, because in that case, Jesus could not leave His Divine nature with the Father. Only a life that is obtained can be left at its source and later be obtained again from that original source. In the Trinity, there would be no Divine Source or Recipient.

  • “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” {Philippians 2:6, 7} (KJV)
  • “Who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men“ {Philippians 2:6, 7} (English Revised Version)

In more precise translations of the above verse, we see that the expression “humbled” means in fact “emptied” his Divine nature, and thus is that He became a man. Jesus remained God, but temporarily without any content of the Divine nature, which we will not fully understand even in eternity. It is for this reason that the Bible states that Jesus gradually grew in wisdom as He grew up.

  • “And the spirit of the LORD (Father’s) shall rest upon Him (Jesus), the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.“ {Isaiah 11:2}
  • “Behold my servant, Whom I have chosen; my beloved, in Whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon Him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.“ {Matthew 12:18}
  • And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.“ {Luke 2:52}
  • He came as a helpless babe, bearing the humanity we bear.” {Ellen White: Ms. 21, 1895}

If He had come with the Divine Nature, which is included in this wrong teaching, His wisdom and knowledge would not have needed to grow. That is why the theologians’ claims that Jesus ruled the whole Universe as a baby are absolutely unbiblical and absurd.

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